Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair

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=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?

..........

The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  

..........

However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.

...........

Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.

NEXT

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Gordon GrossBeane does make his moves. Can't believe how hard the As play for his team knowing none of them will ever really be secure there. We keep seager, they trade donaldson. We draft enough good players to not need to make those trades though... I hope. :)1 hour 15 min ago
moethedogThe Key isn't Barreto, it's Graveman. In 212 pro innings, he's given up 5 homers. FIVE. AND you get an 18 year old slugger AND a decent 3B.2 hours 45 min ago
moethedogI love BB2 hours 55 min ago
misterjonezWow. Billy Beane never rests. He gets a pair of interesting, if uninspiring arms, and a monstrous teenager in Barreto who hit .311/.384/.481 for a 141 WRC+ as an 18 year old in low A ball. He also gets Lawrie, whose performance has never quite matched his hype (and his health has never been a strength, either), so there's definitely upside there. Very interesting trade...Beane gives up one of the most valuable, club-controlled players in the entire game in Donaldson for a few rolls of the dice. That guy is amazing.3 hours 40 min ago
merksHere are the details. Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays, A's get Brett Lawrie, pitchers Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin, SS Franklin Barreto4 hours 8 min ago
merksA's just traded Donaldson to Toronto and get 3 back including Lawrie.4 hours 10 min ago
Tacoma RainOK... I'm back from Black Friday. I made my hard choices, and I spent MY money. I know it was hard, but I spent MONEY. It's your turn Mather and Jack! Spend money. Make the hard choices and spend. You said you would - now DO IT! Earn your paycheck, and spend.6 hours 9 min ago
misterjonezYour point about geography is well taken, Gordon, but I think the FO needs to be proactive in the PR department. They don't have to say they outbid AZ for him, but they should make it clear that he was one of many players they were actively pursuing. As it is the silence is deafening, which is fine when the primo FA's are still on the board, but that is no longer the case. Things are getting tighter in the quest for a MOTO bat, for sure. As for the Betancourt aftermath...that point seems to have a bit more traction with me, Ice.23 hours 36 min ago
IcebreakerXMaybe a little bitter from Yuniesky too...1 day 2 hours ago
Gordon GrossNot sure why people think he was willing to come here. The Ms may have been around the fringes because he wasted to go someplace warm, with a large Spanish speaking population for comfort. AZ provided both of those things. We're in southern Alaska, remember? Some deals you just can't make.1 day 3 hours ago
misterjonezI'm going to say we definitely should have gotten Tomas at that contract. $11-12mil/year for a right-handed power hitter, entering his prime, with professional experience and aplomb, who could play positions of need for this team, is too much to pass up. It doesn't take too much for him to earn that contract, even if he's DHing.1 day 4 hours ago
diderotTomas: but can he run, field and throw like Cespedes? The market determined he was worth the contract he got. Hard to believe that everyone else was wrong...and the M&#039;s would have been wiser to outbid that market.1 day 22 hours ago
Gordon Gross12 miles per year ain't bad. He only has to hit like, well, cespedes I guess to be worth that chunk of change. Most people like him better than cespedes. Tomas off the market shrinks the bats further. One more musical chair down.2 days 8 hours ago
IcebreakerXTomas to D'Backs for 6/69 according to @JesseSanchezMLB2 days 8 hours ago
PlawsableI don&#039;t know that Davis would be a big improvement over Morrison. Sure, if he hit 50 again he clearly would be. Morrisons career OBP is .011 higher and he hit .333/.368/.478/.846 vs LHP last year in 95PA while not showing a big split in his career. I don&#039;t expect him to do that well vs LHP next year but overall it is hard to say Davis would be better for the team and it&#039;s needs. OBP and VS LHP, the 2 big needs of the team, Morrison has mostly looked better.2 days 8 hours ago
GLSAny thoughts out there about Chris Davis? Little blurb in MLBTR that the Marlins may be looking at him. I know right-handed power is the flavor of the month around here, but Davis is one year removed from a 50 HR season, which is something I'm pretty sure I'd like to see on my club irrespective of handedness.2 days 11 hours ago
Gordon GrossI like our guys too, GLS - but we can't play everybody. Miller and Taylor play the same position, and neither can move anywhere else in the infield since those positions are blocked off, and if Miller goes to the OF then he's displacing one of Ackley or Saunders - assuming they aren't displaced by a free agent or trade. Plus DJ and Kivlehan are coming in a year or so, further crowding certain positions, and Marte REALLY can't play anywhere if the infield is full... some guys will have to go. Just get the best player back in any trade, and make sure it's for more than a year if ya can. Also, make sure to trade ONLY the lesser players from the bunch. ;-) Be psychic Jack!3 days 4 hours ago
moethedogMy bad. It was Divish I read3 days 5 hours ago
Bat571I said Grichuk, but meant Piscotty - Grichuk hasn't played 1B. Piscotty was a 3B switched to the OF. His speed and arm makes him right for RF, but he'd make a nice big target at 1B, too.3 days 5 hours ago
GLSI guess this makes me lame, but I can't get excited about trading any of our guys. Miller, Ackley, Taylor, Saunders - I like 'em all. I'd be a terrible GM.3 days 5 hours ago